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Gandhian Ideas or Model of

Development
Gandhian Ideas Model of Development
Gandhian ideas debated for their relevance to
overall development and rural development
Gandhi comes up as a (Post-Development)
staunch critic of modern civilization and
development
Gandhian ideas per se have attracted attention
given their focus on humanistic, ethical and
decentralised approach to development.
Added relevance of Gandhi in the light of many
ills of modern development like growing
violence, alienation, inequality, immorality, and
environmental degradation; and search for an
alternative
Gandhis writings found in various
publications:
- Hind Swaraj (1908),
- Sarvodaya, Gram Swaraj, Constructive
Programme
- Writings in Young India, Navjivan, Harijan
- Autobiography; Satyagraha in South Africa
- Papers/works of Gandhian scholars
Gandhi was influenced by thinkers like
Ruskin, Marx, Tolstoy and various religious
scriptures.
Gandhi followed an interdisciplinary approach
going beyond economic rationality.
Gandhian Critique of Capitalist
Development and Modern Civilization
It is a curse & disease: it is immoral, irreligious
and narrowly focussed on bodily-welfare
The base of capitalist economics is a mere
Gospel of Mammon
Thrives by creating artificial needs and greed
leading to violence, plunder, and exploitation.
Thrust on industrialization led by machines is
crises ridden with a bleak future
Creates illusion of progress and myth of
wealth; and result only in poverty, inequality
unemployment and dehumanization
Lead to centre and periphery dichotomy
Limitations of Marxian system as per Gandhi:

Gandhi agreed with the goal of the Marxian


system of ending exploitation alienation of
mankind

But did not agree with the means involving


violent and radical methods and class war
Gandhian Approach
Ties to comes up as a via-media for the ills of
Capitalism and Socialism
Advocated even as a changed way of life with
a focus on spiritual approach -.
Internal transformation approach
Gandhian Goal and Vision
Creation of a New Social Order (Swaraj)
which goes beyond political freedom
It is a revival of ethical and spiritual past based
on values of democracy, decentralization.
equality, justice and trust.
Gandhian Principles:
Gandhian vision is guided by certain universal
principles :
1. Truth and Non-violence: Adherence honesty
and integrity; No class-war but conversion
through Truth-force for change
2. Simplicity and limiting wants: Happiness
and permanence through contentment; no
reckless pursuit of wealth;
3. Morality and Spirituality: Significance of
Ethical Values; life is more than money.
4. Human Centric Development: Development should
be human centric (not on machines or wealth): Mass
production by masses not machines; Every
individual to become a fully developed member of the
society:

5. Sarvodaya (Welfare of all); Feeling of fraternity;


each according his need and abilities; and unto to the
last

6. Dignity of labour: Restore through respect for


bread-labour and Work for all
Gandhian Model of Rural Development :
Enunciated an integrated and a decentralised
model of rural development
1. Village Centric Development
- India lives in villages.
- Transform Dung Heaps to Model Villages
- Economy must revolve around villages to
reverse centre-periphery model
- Village workers to catalyze village development
2. Gram Swaraj (Village Republic)
- Villages politically & economically independent
- Have own panchayat for self-governance.
3. Self-Sufficiency (Swadeshi):

- Depend on local than on remote;


- Water, food crops, cotton, non-farm
products, school, temple all in the village
- Swadeshi not be dogmatic

4. Co-operative Approach
- Living Together
- Adoption of co-operative way of life
- Co-operatives for farm and other activities
- Co-operation based on voluntarism and
morality
5. Khadi and Village Industries
- Khadi and Charaka: Symbol of commercial
peace.
- Revive village industries to avoid evils of
industrialization.
- Decentralized production and distribution.
- To ensure employment to millions

6. Education
- For training both mind and body
- Develop of vocational skill (Nai-taleem) for
employment.
7. Trusteeship (for Economic Equality)
- Gandhian idea of equality to transform
capitalism without violence
- Resources belong to god/nature (hence to
everybody); Any owner is only a Trustee
- Change of heart among owners is needed
- Owners share their earnings with society
8. Social Equality
- Gandhi wanted harmonious existence of
communities without hierarchies
- The unjust practices of caste and
untouchability are not acceptable
- Hindus to atone for it and break the barriers
Assessment
Gandhian of Gandhian
ideas have Ideaspolitical
made considerable
and economic impact
Attempted an integrated model which combines
ethics with development
Comes up as a strong critic of capitalist and
industrial development
Emphasized decentralization for overall and rural
development
Has some useful answers to the challenges of
sustainability (permanence) especially based on
limited wants and simple life
Gandhian approach has been criticized by
many for its limitations:
- Critics calls it a model Opposed to Progress
Technology & Machines
- Romanticisation of tradition and village life
- Status-quoist, Idealist and Reformist arguing
for change of heart rather than change of the
system.
- Criticized for supporting caste-system
But Gandhi was not dogmatic and was open
for correction; may have to be read more
holistically.